Lightened Up Arroz Con Pollo

Lightened Up Arroz Con Pollo

Lightened up arroz con pollo? SAY WHAAAA.

You’d never expect chicken breast, brown rice, turmeric, cumin, saffron, garlic, onions, and cayenne to result in such a flavorful dish!

Well, actually, I take that back. It DOES sound absolutely delicious!

Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) is a staple in Latin families.

In my family, it was the meal you saved for the weekends; the meal you had with the family on Sundays.

I wanted to make a lighter version of this delicious dish using my friend Mari’s recipe.

She made arroz con pollo using turmeric, chicken breast, and brown rice which intrigued me so I totally had to try it myself.

A flavorful, lightened up version of the Latin staple "arroz con pollo" {rice with chicken} made with the same authentic spices & turmeric with no MSG.

Believe the hype!

This lightened up arroz con pollo has the same authentic flavors of classic arroz con pollo.

I was even surprised to see that you couldn’t taste the turmeric, which is actually a very bitter spice.

You also have the lime juice for some bitter, acidic action. The cayenne pepper for some spice.

The saffron for that smokey heat. I mean, all the ingredients just blend so well together.

Overall, this is a great alternative to regular arroz con pollo.

If you make it, I’d love to hear it! Let me know in the comments. Happy cooking!

A flavorful, lightened up version of the Latin staple "arroz con pollo" {rice with chicken} made with the same authentic spices & turmeric with no MSG.
Lightened Up Arroz Con Pollo
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

A flavorful, lightened up version of the Latin staple "arroz con pollo" {rice with chicken} made with the same authentic spices & turmeric with no MSG.

Servings: 6 servings
Author: Jamie Silva
  • 2 lbs organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3/4 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro plus extra for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups organic low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice or brown rice
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp minced fresh turmeric or 1/4 dried turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 3 saffron threads crushed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup jarred pimiento peppers
  • 6 Manzanilla olives
  • 2 limes cut into wedges for garnish
  1. Season chicken breasts with salt and black pepper. In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil; cook chicken in batches, flipping once, until browned and almost cooked through, 5–10 minutes. Remove chicken from pot.

  2. In food processor, pulse onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and garlic until finely chopped and evenly combined. Add mixture to the pot you used for chicken. Cook over medium heat until onions are fragrant and translucent, about 10 minutes.

  3. Add broth, rice, lime juice, bay leaf, oregano, garlic powder, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, and saffron to pot; bring mixture 
to a boil.
  4. Add chicken. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until liquid 
is absorbed and rice is tender, about 1 hour. Add frozen peas, pimientos, and olives, 
stirring until warm.

  5. Fluff rice with fork and divide among six plates. Garnish each plate with a lime wedge.

Recipe adapted from Mariela Ramirez via Yoga Journal.

If you’ve made this or any other recipe, tag me on Instagram with #asassyspoon or comment below. I’d love to see it! You can also sign up for email updates here.

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